As Above, So Below. Cosmos is Order. Time is Transformation.
For the astrologer, the Universe is synchronicity in action, and every moment is a unique entity. Astrology presupposes a meaningful coincidence of planetary aspects with events here on Earth, and a synchronistic correspondence between the psychic state of the questioner with the answering astrological chart. To the Ancients, everything was an expression of geometry and number, with time having a determining quality in the same way that disturbances in the Earth's magnetic field are connected with changes in solar radiation and the seasonal fluctuations to which we are all subject. Astrology is the ancient art of interpreting the fractal nature of moments in time. By reading the relative positions of heavenly bodies, much like reading the hands of a great cosmic clock, we can determine the quality of the moment in question and bring our actions into accord with the basic structural (fractal) pattern of reality. In the words of Ecclesiastes, 'To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven'.
Transits are the primary astrological technique used in the timing of events. A transit occurs whenever a planet moving in its orbit forms an aspect (an angular relationship) with a natal planet, or passes through a house in your birth chart. The transit graph is a 45 degree graphical ephemeris, a tool that has been with us for many years, yet it is not as widely used as it should be. Major life events are always accompanied by hard aspects, so these are the ones to look out for; soft aspects (such as trines and sextiles) do not carry nearly the same, if any, real impact. The chart flows from left to right (with the months of the year printed along the bottom edge, and natal planet symbols on the right), and displays the year's transits as intersecting lines. This allows you to see at a glance the times of greatest activity. The transit report itself is your day to day interpretation of these transits and your forecast for the year ahead.
Slanted or wavy lines indicate the movements of the transiting planets as they appear to move forward, and sometimes backward (retrograde), through the signs, and cross over the straight horizontal lines, which represent the static placements of your natal (radix) planets and house cusps. Lines converging on or crossing over each other indicate hard aspects (multiples of 45 degrees) forming between two or more planets. These aspects most often correspond to times of manifest critical change: Conjunction (0 degrees), SemiSquare (45 degrees), Square (90 degrees), Sesquiquadrate (135 degrees) and Opposition (180 degrees). Additionally, you can easily see when and where a transiting planet changes sign (shown as a dot) or crosses over a house cusp (horizontal dotted line) in your chart. For a legend of the astrological symbols used in the transit graph, please see the appendix at the end.
The visual tool of a transit graph enables you to see any stretch of time as a connected whole, and makes it clear that many concurrent transits are involved in any event of importance. The geometrical arrangements of the planets in the heavens and their changing relationships to the natal chart take on meaning as transformations in celestial geometry are reflected in your life. As symbols of intent, transits indicate times that are appropriate for certain kinds of action. This is not to suggest that transits signify changes that will inevitably come to pass with you as the helpless observer. Astrology should be used to gain an understanding of your connection with the Universe and how the energies symbolized in your chart are unfolding over time. What transits really signify are changes within you, changes that can be expressed positively or negatively depending on circumstances.
The graph will help you to see this more plainly, but in a nutshell, the slower moving planets set the background to which the faster moving transits of Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars bring their details. The longer a planet takes to transit a natal point, the stronger will be its effects, and the more ‘personal’ the natal point being transited, the more you will feel the transit. Hence, Saturn conjunct your Ascendant has the potential to bring much more permanent change (and over a longer period of time) than a fleeting transit of Mercury does. The report repeats paragraphs when and where it needs to due to the fact that transiting planets will inevitably appear to turn from direct to retrograde, and then back to direct again - and in doing so, that planet will often transit a natal planet or point several times. Periods of planetary motion that appear to stop and then go the opposite direction are called stations, meaning the planet appears to become stationary for a time. These are important, because a planet making a station on or near a natal point in your chart will be felt more impressively than a planet in motion.
The most important transits to watch out for are those of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto to the more personal parts of your chart, e.g., Ascendant, Midheaven, Sun and Moon. When a transiting planet turns retrograde, it will transit particular points in your chart, then eventually reverse direction and pass over them again - and this will show up as repeated paragraphs. It is best to learn and assimilate the lessons of these transits the first time round, otherwise you risk having to repeat the lesson on the next pass. The round symbols on the graph containing an 'S' or an 'L' indicate where the Solar and Lunar Eclipses occur for the year. A Solar Eclipse is essentially a New Moon, but vastly amplified in nature (since the Sun-Moon conjunction is exact) and thus represents an especially powerful new beginning or seeding time in the area where it falls. A Lunar Eclipse, like an amplified Full Moon, represents a culmination or time of harvest - where we should be reaping what has previously been sown. In some traditions, it is believed that whatever thoughts, feelings or activities you're engaged in at the time of a Solar Eclipse will have lasting long-term effects.
There is no clear boundary between ourselves and the world; the observer always plays an active part in the creation of what is being observed. The purpose of astrology is to give an understanding of your place in the Universe, and information about the types of energies (qualities of time and space) that are flowing through you at any given moment. In this respect, transits provide important opportunities for planning the types of activities you should be engaging in at different times, as well as clues as to when, where and how you might most usefully and beneficially actualize the potentials symbolized by your chart.